Why do I write about music? I know so perilously little about music. However, given that I’m a human being, and thereby obsessed with feeling good, I know a lot about emotion. Sure, if you’ve read True Genius Requires Insanity over the past three years, you’d beg to disagree, but I’ll tell you why you’re wrong. I’m not Jim Morrison. I can easily trace my desire to write about music to one point. I was eight years old in the backseat of my uncle’s Cadillac eating a six piece Chicken McNugget happy meal when The Doors’ “Light My Fire” played on the car stereo. The song was mysterious and new to me, and made me want to know how music could sound like that? Until that point, the most seminal artists in my existence were Michael Jackson, Prince, Culture Club, Olivia Newton-John and Duran Duran, in that order. The deep, psychedelic sound of Ray Manzarek’s keyboard and Morrison’s vocals had me hooked. It was the simple question that my uncle asked in a joking manner that pushed me over the edge. “Man, that guy sure wants somebody to light his damn fire! I wonder why?” Exactly! Why? Why did this song sound like this, why did it open my mind and why did it make me want to hear more? True Genius Requires Insanity, in pondering the human emotions and desires engendered by aural qualities of instruments, has succeeded in answering a nearly 25 year old question in my life.
Moving ahead, that question will continue to be posed, but from the point of awareness to having that answer, and seeing where that answer takes all of us. Answering that question has restored order to the disheveled mess I allowed my life to become. If the site has taught me anything, it’s that dedication to a goal can restore one’s ability to live peacefully. Writing about music has allowed me to love life again. Prior to starting TGRI, I made a lot of poor choices that made me perpetually angry at everything and everyone surrounding me. I often chose not to choose, and let life live me, becoming more failed and frustrated by the second.
Grabbing on to music saved me from a sea of angst. I get on my knees daily and thank sound’s broad diversity for keeping me afloat. From hip hop to soul to house, disco, punk, metal, dubstep and now moombahton, music in being perpetual and magnificent gave me hope. I’m an encyclopedia of music because if I stopped searching for cool new sounds to listen to, I’d probably be dead. These days, I adore a great open format DJ set. It’s like a remembrance of things in my recent past, of dark days, pitch black nights, heartbreak, depression and virulent anger, and the sliver of life that kept me, often broken and crawling, moving ahead.
A beloved and beautiful ex-girlfriend once told me the following: “You love music more than you’ll ever love me. The scene is your girlfriend. I’m just here.” If that’s not wild enough, then consider this: I can honestly say that there were points in the last three years where I loved music more than I loved myself. Crazy, right? Well, True Genius Requires Insanity.